Duck farming is an agribusiness done in many parts of the world, including Nigeria, because it requires little capital & less infrastructure to startup, but simply an environment with water and potential food as ducks can find their food—earthworms, snails, insects, and much more— themselves and also digest fibre and protein food relatively more efficiently than chickens & other birds.
About 3 billion ducks are slaughtered each year for meat worldwide, with duck farming being more popular in China than in any other part of the world, as they are raised extensively in the Asian nation, with the average duck number per farm being between 100 to 200 ducks.
In Nigeria, it is a far less popular type of poultry farming operation, but still attractive for people looking to raise birds at a far lesser cost of tradition poultry operations. Even better, ducks lay bigger and more eggs than other poultry animals during the year and depending on individual preferences, could have a better taste than chicken meat.
In 2018, the average duck and goose meat global import price was around to $4,185 per tonne with the market value increasing at an average annual rate of 2.1% over the period from 2007 to 2018.
If you’re looking for a lucrative poultry farming business that can yield high export returns and also high local sales to targeted types of customers, duck farming in Nigeria is a great place to start.
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What Are Ducks?
Duck is the common name for numerous aquatic birds in the waterfowl family Anatidae which also includes swans and geese. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and can be found in both freshwater and seawater.
What Is Duck Farming About?
Duck farming refers to the entire process involved in rearing ducks for personal use or commercial purposes. The farming process starts with acquiring or renting a suitable site and developing it to suit and aid the growth, development and reproduction of the ducks.
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Business Opportunities In Duck Farming In Nigeria & Around The World
1). Meat production:
Ducks are reared for their quality meat which many consider being of a higher quality and preference to chicken meat.
2). Egg production:
Eggs are one of the world’s most consumed commodities and duck eggs are also considered to have a high value and nutritious content.
Many ducks are also bought and sold fo show as pets, as they have an attractive appearance
4). Ornament production:
Duck feathers are used in a number of decorative products such as boas, feather fans, masks, costume accessories, necklaces, bird ornaments, earrings, and flowers.
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Facts And Benefits Of Duck Farming
- Ducks start laying eggs at about 18 weeks of age
- A duck can lay up to 100 to 350 eggs in a year depending on the breed
- More than 31 million ducks are killed each year for their flesh.
- Ducks generally only have one mate/partner at a time
- Most domestic ducks neglect their eggs and ducklings, and their eggs must be hatched under a hen or another medium
- Ducks are found on every continent except Antarctica
- Ducks have two unique features that make them such good swimmers—webbed feet and waterproof feathers.
- Most of the time, ducks sleep at night right on the water
- Loneliness can affect a duck’s growth and productivity
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Types Of Duck
There are various species of duck, some of which include:
1). Dabbling Ducks:
Dabbling ducks are ducks that tip up to feed. These ducks also nibble along the water’s surface and feed readily on land as well, but very rarely dive below the water.
The most common dabbling duck species is the mallard, the northern pintail, wigeon, and different teals.
2). Diving Ducks:
These species take after their name. They love to dive far beneath the water surface in search of food which includes insects, fish and aquatic plants. These ducks prefer submerging into the water than staying on land.
Some of these species are goldeneyes, canvasback, and redhead.
3). Sea Ducks:
Sea-ducks are known to be marine ducks which can be found in coastal areas. They possess special glands which help in resistance to salt water, which could cause dehydration.
4). Perching Ducks:
Perching ducks have unique feet with prominent talons on both webbed feet to give them better grip when perching on trees. They can regularly be found perching in trees along wooded waterways and other areas with appropriate trees for nesting, and they may nest dozens of feet above the ground.
Examples of perching ducks include the muscovy and mandarin.,
5). Whistling Duck:
These tropical ducks have long legs and necks, unlike typical compact duck proportions, and they may be mistaken for small Geese. These birds are named for their shrill whistling calls, which can be heard for long distances and are often confused for other birds and animals.
Whistling-duck species include the black-bellied, fulvous, and white-faced whistling-ducks.
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How To Start Duck Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide
1). Acquire A Suitable Location:
Getting a suitable area for duck farming is necessary to provide the ducks with comfort and ease. A benefit of rearing ducks is that they don’t require too much attention, but only for certain things to be set in place.
There should be a well-ventilated housing facility for the ducks to provide shelter and protection and there should probably be a stream or artificial pond nearby.
Rearing ducks wouldn’t be complete without having a water source nearby as ducks are partly aquatic animals and love to swim and dive often.
2). Choose The Right Breed:
There are a variety of duck breeds to choose from when it comes to duck rearing, all depending on the taste of the farmer.
A race like the Pekin is most recommended as it is a good source of meat and an excellent source of sizeable white duck eggs seen in the market.
However, you should choose the duck breed that best suits your target market, so you can ensure you’re constantly generating cashflow.
3). Duck Feeding:
Ducks are omnivorous birds and will eat many different foods. The best foods to offer ducks include cracked corn, wheat, barley, or similar grains, oats, rice, birdseed and more.
The mating season is a very crucial period as this paves for egg increase. The environment has to be conducive enough as this could aid or mar the female duck’s laying or fertilizing eggs.
5). Health Care:
Ducks are the toughest of farm birds as they have a high resistance to diseases and infections. Nevertheless, health measures should be taken to safeguard duck health and foster high duck yields. These could include keeping a clean and unpolluted environment, as well as other criteria.
Ducks can be sold in local and international markets or supplied to stores and restaurants. With the fast-spreading trend of duck farming and business, finding international clients is hardly be an issue.
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Challenges Of Duck Farming In Nigeria
Here are some challenges that can affect starting duck farming in Nigeria, Africa, or many other places around the world:
- Pest and diseases
- Lack of government support
- Lack of funding for large scale production
- Lack of a highly favourable market
- Lack of highly equipped storage facilities
- Lack of efficient production mechanisms
- Not popularly known
- Absence of a vast ready market
- Poor funding of research activities
- Bush burning
- Lack of capital for large scale production
- Lack of easy access to the international market
- Instability of the international market price
- Lack of adequate widespread knowledge on how to produce high-quality products
- Lack of funds to import international standard processing machinery
- Thieves and criminals
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To Sum It Up
The duck farming business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your own ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a farming business to venture into, the duck farming business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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